Given all of the time and money and energy spent by Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association fighting his suspension in the Deflategate case, and the star's passion to clear his name, and his immense means to sustain his legal battle, I would anticipate him asking the Supreme Court to hear his case.
As of this moment, no decision has been made and internal discussions within the Brady legal team are ongoing.
Nothing would shock me either way, and we are certainly into some legal terrain that frankly seems without much NFL precedent. It's going to be the quarterback's call, after conferring with his inner circle and the NFLPA, how to move forward in the face of his latest appeal not being granted. I would just point out that Brady has been vigilant in taking the case as far as possible if need be, the NFLPA is driven to try to establish a precedent in which players can find relief through the court in response to suspensions they deem to be extreme or unwarranted.
If the roles were reversed, one has to wonder if the NFL would do the same thing, given how resolute the league was in avoiding just the sort of precedent the Brady case could have created. To say both sides have been stuck in throughout this process would be an understatement and Brady certain has some extraordinary circumstances on his side.
Perhaps that is enough to prompt him to take this matter to the highest court in the land.
Money literally is no object. Protecting his reputation and image is of paramount concern, to say nothing of his ridiculous competitive bent. Missing a quarter of the season alone drives him crazy; having to sit it out while healthy due to a suspension he adamantly believes is BS and out of line with any former NFL discipline for such matters only fuels him further.
And, given the chip the Patriots already wear on their collective shoulders from the Spygate affair, and given their repeated efforts to discredit the Deflategate findings, undoubtedly owner Bob Kraft would support his quarterback taking this fight all the way to Washington.
When you have come this far -- over 18 months since this scandal broke -- and fought this hard, things become personal. It's impossible for them not to. It's human nature. And Brady has always had a "me against the football world thing" going on since he was passed over repeatedly in the draft. It's carried him to what will end up being a Hall of Fame career and is intertwined in his DNA, so those that know him best can't imagine him backing down now and calling it all off.
If nothing else, they surmise, Brady would want to be able to say that he exhausted every means possible in trying to clear his name, so while petitioning the Supreme Court may seem extreme to some, Brady and his legal team have always known it may just come to that.
The worst-case scenario is that he is told "no" by a league or a court once again -- something frankly the superstar hasn't really had to deal with much, I suppose, since he rose to international prominence -- and has to in fact sit out those four games.
But he's realized that was a very real possibility from the moment Roger Goodell first handed down his severe ruling. Brady hasn't been once to waste many opportunities since Drew Bledsoe got injured all those many years ago (and really since arriving at Ann Arbor even before that), so doing so now would be out of character.
And if he is forced to sit out four games, get to Vegas and try to put down something on the Patriots scoring 50-plus points on the hapless Browns in Week 4. Maybe parlay it with the Patriots going at least 2-2 without Brady as well. If you made me pick right now, I see a Brady-less Pats losing in the opener at Arizona, but then taking out the Dolphins, Texans and Bills even with youngster Jimmy Garoppolo under center.
Then again, this being Brady, who never met a daunting obstacle he couldn't overcome, I still wouldn't rule him out playing sooner than that. Fourth-quarter comebacks are kind of his thing.